Stephen Willats: The Lurky Place
On special offer during Printed Matter Virtual Art Book Fair is this original artist's book, published in conjunction with an exhibition by Stephen Willats entitled 'Questions About Ourselves' at Lisson Gallery in 1978.
The Lurky Place was an area of wasteland near Hayes, West London and Willats became interested in its function as a means of escape for people living around it, and noticed the way that people transported objects into this wasteland and in doing so often transformed the way that object was seen and used. The wasteland can be seen as symbolic of an area in which pursuits which do not normally take place within institutional, conformist society can take place. The mundane routines of the day are relieved by pursuits in The Lurky Place, the key to which lies in the transportation of items, from the world of normality outside into the entropic wilderness inside.
The work is divided into a sequence of four interrelated areas, each of which centres on a point of transformation in the reality of an individual, symbolically represented. The sequence is as follows: education, home, work, culture. Each state is divided into two parts. The top relates the transported items back to institutional society, represented in the work by such manifestations as a school, tower block, factory and car dump, all located on the edge of The Lurky Place. The bottom part presents the viewer with a problem question in the form of a text relating to the different ways the symbolic individual is involved in various behaviours. Thus the viewer is presented with a puzzle which can only be solved by entering into the encoded structure of The Lurky Place and relating cues from both top and bottom together.
Illustrated in black-and-white, edition size unknown
Publication date: 1978
Format: Soft cover, offset on paper, staple bound
Dimensions: 23.5 x 21 cm